Nigella

Rapadura Sugar Sticky Date Pudding

5/08/2012 01:19:00 PM


When I cooked dinner for the lovely Kate and Rob, I wanted to make something comforting, something that would be a real treat for English expats who'd been living in Brunei!  And that's why I made a crackly roast rack of pork, followed by a gooey, luscious, sticky date pudding, served with thick double cream.

I based my recipe on Nigella's sticky toffee pudding from Nigella Bites, fiddling around with her ginormous quantities and changing the method a little to suit me.  The main difference though, was that I replaced Nigella's suggested dark muscovado sugar with gorgeous Colombian rapadura sugar, which Wendy from Fare Enough in Euroa had given me on my trip to the Goulburn Valley.


Melbourne hipsters and coffee aficionados will be well familiar with this sugar - all the third-wave coffee houses provide it - and I love its crumbly texture and its intense, almost licorice-like aroma.  Apparently it's high in dietary iron and other nutrients too.  Wendy told me that back in the days, the slaves on sugar plantations were actually healthier than their better-fed masters, simply because this sugar was a big part of their diet.  As if you needed another excuse!

The pudding is really very easy, needing no more than a light stir with a wooden spoon.  In fact, the most difficult part about making this pudding is chopping up the dates!

Flour, sugar, chopped dates

Being a self-saucing pudding, you blanket the batter in sugar, butter and recently-boiled water before baking.
Blanket of rapadura sugar and dots of butter

With boiled water poured over
I'm not quite sure why Nigella gets so excited about self-saucing puddings, and what a miracle they are, always adding "trust me" clauses to her recipes.  They really are a very easy, traditional pudding, and a staple of Aussie home economics classes!

And here is the finished product: Super yum!
Sticky date pudding
I think I may have cooked my pudding for slightly longer than I needed to; rather than having a layer of sauce beneath the sponge, the end result was a very moist, squidgy sponge with a crackly top.  Not that anyone was complaining!
Squidgy goodness
Apparently dairy products are very expensive in Brunei, so I made sure there was plenty of thick double cream to go around.  (Just quietly, it was actually an el-cheapo Farmdale brand double cream from Aldi, but I was really impressed with it!  It was all dollopy and creamy, without being unappetizingly solid and buttery like some other brands I've tried).
With double cream

As I'd never baked with it before, I wasn't exactly sure how the rapadura would affect the final product, but it worked so well - adding texture and complex flavours, not just sweetness.  Interestingly enough, despite there being quite a bit of sugar both in the batter and in the sauce, the final product wasn't overly sweet - rapadura seems to provide a much less cloying sweetness than ordinary white sugar.

With all those nutrients from the rapadura, I'm regarding this pudding as health food!  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Rapadura Sugar Sticky Date Pudding
Based on Nigella's Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding, Nigella Bites

Ingredients
For the sponge:
50g rapadura sugar
90g self-raising flour
100g pitted dates, finely chopped
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g unsalted butter, melted

For the sauce:
100g rapadura sugar
25g unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
250ml recently boiled water from a kettle

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the 50g rapdura sugar, self-raising flour and dates in a bowl, stir together to combine and set aside.  Whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir gently to combine.  Scrape the batter into a buttered 1-litre dish, and spread out evenly with a spatula.
Sprinkle over the 100g rapadura sugar and 25g unsalted butter.  Pour the boiled water over, and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

Serves 4-6, depending on appetite

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4 comments

  1. Sticky DATE pudding! *pouts*

    Must. Let go. Of Language. Obsession.

    This looks scrumptious! My mum and I have long made gluten- and dairy-free versions of sticky date pudding; I shall have to throw in rapadura sometime, and not only because it makes methink of Rapunzel. :P

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  2. This is one of my favourite recipes of hers! It's so delicious :)

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  3. I love sticky date so interested to see what it would be like made with Rapadura - sounds like it turned out a treat

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  4. That looks absolutely divine!!! And topped with double cream yum :)

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